This entry was posted on
Friday, August 27th, 2010 at
9:50 am and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.
Note – Andy Rayment is a former Conservative councillor and present Chairman of the Mid-Bedfordshire Conservative Association. Yes, I can prove that Nadine Dorries MP lied about a police investigation that never took place, and after months of research I found nothing on record to suggest that she even went so far as to make a formal complaint. Worse, it would appear that Dorries failed to report actual harassment targeting me, and went on to knowingly exacerbate that harassment with accusations she knew to be false.
I make no apologies for this being an open letter, as my past correspondence with your office has been grossly misrepresented by Nadine Dorries, and I feel some daylight is required to get this issue addressed at last.
I originally sent you an email on February 18 about the conduct of Dorries and followed this up with a further email on March 30. Neither email received a reply.
I called your office in June, and was told by a woman named ‘Pippa’ that you had been on holiday since February. I hope for your sake that this isn’t true. (I also hope that this person isn’t one of the two people named ‘Pippa’ known to Dorries who she pays with taxpayer’s money, because it would be unseemly for person in such a role to be playing a central/long-term role in your party-political office.)
I then called a week later on June 18, and was told that my letter had been forwarded to you, but the woman who said this was very rude and abrupt, and refused to give her name or say when my letter was forwarded.
Initially I wrote to you after I was harassed by a small group of unbalanced people involved in the repeated publication of my ex-directory home address alongside the damaging, dangerous and entirely false accusation that I stalk women and send death threats to MPs. This followed a campaign where I was smeared as a convicted paedophile that involved many of the same people including at least one associate of Nadine Dorries (Iain Dale).
While Dale may not have originated the ‘paedophile’ smear he certainly sought to take advantage of it, and he personally built on the ‘stalker’ smears that began as anonymous comments on his site. Prior to May 2010, Dorries herself had repeatedly implied* that I was stalking her and made out that a video link I had sent her (a clip from ‘The Omen’) constituted some form of threat from someone who was mentally ill and therefore dangerous.
Both parties continued this behaviour even after they were advised that their false accusations were being published alongside my home address.
One of the people doing this claimed to have been in contact with Dorries, declaring that they did this on her behalf.
When confronted about this, Dorries made a vague claim designed to give the impression that she had forwarded the relevant email to police, but I have serious doubts that anything like this happened, especially after what followed.
In late April, during the general election campaign, I received multiple reports that Dorries was misleading constituents at hustings events with unsubstantiated and sometimes contradictory claims. Rather than take these reports at face value, I sought to record an event to get some of her alleged claims on tape, which is why I attended the hustings at Flitwick and secured permission to record and broadcast it.
It was at this event that Dorries twice stood up to declare that I have been stalking her and other MPs. She claimed I lived in Croydon (why?**), described my website as “incredibly offensive and rude”, spoke of a “barrage” of “vile” and “abusive” email messages sent to herself and other MPs, and at one stage even said she couldn’t comment further because a police investigation was in progress.
None of this was true. Dorries lied about it all, and even invented a police investigation out of thin air.
Since then I’ve made a series of FOI/DPA requests and they suggest that Dorries hadn’t even made a formal complaint, even though she went on to claim that she had been given advice by police to close her weblog and Twitter account in order to address the ‘threat’ I posed.
If Dorries was given any advice like this, it was most likely generic advice police give to anyone who claims to have been harassed as a result of what they have published online. It was certainly nothing like she portrayed it when she contacted the local newspaper, associating my activities with the stabbing of Stephen Timms (an incident that took place a week after she closed her Twitter account).
Her assertion that I have a violent, criminal character was combined with repeated claims that I was undermining democracy, topped by this:
Nadine4mp: Tim Ireland @bloggerheads distorted a great British tradition tonight by lying to my constituents and deliberately disrupting a husting
[Tweeted by Nadine Dorries on 4 May 2010 21:35]
What she describes is the opposite of who I am and what I do, and it is not the first time she has attempted to portray me as an enemy of democracy. Doubting that anyone can be this confused, I firmly believe it to be a deliberate smear.
Further, these entirely false allegations were all made by an MP who knew that her smears were being repeated alongside my home address by someone who claimed to be acting on her behalf.
Concerned about what may have been passed to/though Dorries office by those harassing me, I submitted a combination FOI/DPA request to Dorries’ office. Yes, I am aware that MPs have the privilege to ignore an FOI request if they wish…. but they do not enjoy the same luxury with a DPA request.
Dorries’ office has ignored this request for 150 days now, for reasons that are pretty easy to guess at, despite the uncertainties left by her obfuscation; the DPA request compels Dorries to provide me with, among other things, a copy of all correspondence sent to her office in my name, and any sincere attempt to deliver that data would reveal that no “barrage” exists, or that I have been impersonated (possibly by the same people publishing my home address, who have impersonated me elsewhere).
In the same statement that portrayed me as a violent enemy of democracy, Dorries claimed that she is not answerable to me because I am not a constituent of hers. I beg to differ. In my view, Dorries became answerable to me and every other human being subject to our laws from the moment she embarked on a national anti-abortion campaign, and there is no question of her moral obligation to answer for the smears she has aimed at me (and others) in pursuit of her personal/political goals.
What is especially galling is that, while Dorries claims to be a victim of harassment, instead of pursuing credible civil or criminal action (which would be easy if anything she claimed were true), she knowingly and repeatedly relies on the actions of vigilantes, up to and including lies about police investigations that never took place.
The situation has now reached a point where Dorries’ actions are largely indiscernible from those of the unbalanced fantasists targeting me (who also make entirely false claims about police investigations). However, Dorries is not a bitter outcast operating on the fringes of society, but a serving Member of Parliament, and I find it incredible that is so difficult to call her to account.
I would like to know what your intentions are regarding this matter, and why it is taking you so long to address it.
* Why I say ‘implied’ and not ‘claimed'; often Dorries would blur the line between myself and blogger Chris Paul, probably in the hopes that she would be able to smear us both without making an accusation specific enough to be actionable. Just in case this is the last we all hear of the matter for some time, I want to go on record and say that while I was being smeared by Dorries, I dared to save copies of some of what she was publishing, and I hold evidence that she made a very misleading tweet aimed at Chris Paul at the time. This example was a rare, direct shot (Dorries had her blood up)… and it was an entirely false allegation that she has has yet to withdraw. It is completely wrong to suggest that Chris Paul had journeyed from Manchester to confront Nadine Dorries in her constituency during this event or at any time during the election, or ever. As for “seriously disturbed,” that judgement call of hers is most likely based on events that only took place in her imagination (and pretty bloody rich coming from a woman who claims a 21-week-old foetus can punch its way out of the womb):
Nadine4mp: Labour activist @chrislol came from Manchester to my village – seriously disturbed.
[Tweeted by Nadine Dorries on 4 May 2010 21:25]
** Her certainty that I lived in Croydon is one of the aspects that makes me concerned about impersonation (that, and I have previously been impersonated by the people targeting me; something that Gmail still refuse to address, BTW). The IP address of a person involved in both the ‘paedophile’ smear and the later ‘stalker’ smears used an IP address that initially appeared to resolve to Croydon, and that person has a track record not only of using false names/indentities online, but also manipulating opposing, non-communicative parties. I suspect this same person to be involved in a sequence of communications that gave the impression that Iain Dale was in direct contact with Glen Jenvey while Jenvey was smearing me as a paedophile (when it was probably more a case of this person trawling the web for ‘dirt’ on me and happening across most of it in the comments on Dale’s site); this was a key matter that Dale was refusing to discuss when he claims I ‘stalked’ him, and Dorries is being equally unhelpful with her wall of silence in this case. If she claims to have hundreds of vile and abusive messages from me, then let’s see them. If she can’t produce them, then she’ll have to wear being called a liar who knowingly uses damaging and false accusations against her critics. After ‘Smeargate’ she may think she’s immune to such accusations, but those in the know should be appalled by her hypocrisy. What kind of politics is this? One minute we’re to be shocked that Nadine Dorries might lie about her expenses, the next we’re all supposed to chill out when she lies about a police investigation. How can Nadine Dorries possibly convince those around her that she told and continued to maintain this damaging lie (knowingly putting my family at risk in the process) with the best possible intentions?